If you have not tried Spanakopita before, you're in for a treat! Spanakopita is a delicious savory Greek pie made of perfectly crispy layers of phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese. I'm sharing my family's favorite spanakopita recipe, complete with tips, video, and step-by-step photos. Trust me, this is so much easier to make than you think!

Spanakopita makes a great side dish for large holiday dinners next to lamb or lemon chicken. But it can easily stand alone as the main dish. Serve it with a big salad like Greek salad; Balela; or this Mediterranean chickpea salad, and favorite dips like Greek Tzatziki or Roasted Garlic Hummus.

This post is sponsored by The Fillo Factory.

Spanakopita, Greek savory pie with spinach and feta

What is Spanakopita?

My little one describes spanakopita this way, "yummy, crispy cheese pie with lots of green stuff!"

Spanakopita is a popular Greek savory pie made of perfectly flaky phyllo dough with a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese nestled in. If you're not familiar with phyllo dough, it is basically layered sheets of tissue-thin pastry dough, typically found in the freezer section next to things like pie crust and puff pastry.

Spanakopita can be made in a large casserole dish like in today's recipe, or in the form of hand pies shaped in triangles or even rolls.

Spanakopita pie served next to olives and fresh tomatoes. Phyllo dough box on side.

When I was at an Atlanta-area Greek festival a few weeks ago, my daughter's lunch of choice was a piece of spanakopita and a side of Greek salad. Luckily, she allowed me a taste; it was heavenly! I ended up chatting with the woman behind the lavish lunch, her name was Yiayia Helen. We discussed family recipes and shared spanakopita lessons and tips...

Tips for How to Make Spanakopita

1. What is in the spanakopita filling? 

The key filling ingredients in a classic spanakopita recipe are spinach and feta cheese. And yes, only use quality feta cheese, no other cheese qualifies for spanakopita.

To the spinach and feta, we add flavor makers in the form of fresh herbs and aromatics. I used two whole bunches of parsley (parsley stems pack a ton of flavor, by the way, so don't be afraid to throw some in) Then, onions, garlic and a little dry dill weed.

To bind everything together, I used four large eggs.

Spanakopita filling ingredients in a bowl. Spinach, feta, fresh herbs, onions, garlic and eggs
Spanakopita filling ingredients: spinach, feta cheese, fresh parsley, dill weed, onions, garlic, eggs, olive oil, salt and pepper

2. Do I need to cook the spinach in advance?

You need a good amount of spinach in this recipe, so using frozen spinach is the way to go. In this easy spanakopita recipe, frozen spinach--fully thawed, of course--is mixed right in with the remaining filling ingredients, no advanced cooking necessary.

But one thing you must do, be sure to drain all liquid from the thawed spinach. I ended up squeezing the spinach by hand a few times until it could no longer produce any liquid. If you do use fresh spinach, you will need to cook it with the onions and garlic, drain, and let cool completely before mixing the filling.

Spanakopita filling ingredients mixed together
Mix Spanakopita filling ingredients

3. The Phyllo

Golden, crispy phyllo pastry, encasing the soft spinach filling is really what spanakopita is all about! Quality of phyllo (fillo) dough can make or break the recipe! I am a big fan of organic dough from The Fillo Factory. It's vegan and contains no preservatives; no cholesterol; and no trans fat. And be sure follow the tips below for best results.

Tips for working with Phyllo Dough:

- Thaw phyllo dough properly; too much moisture will make the dough or sheets sticky and hard to manage.  When thawing, do not remove the phyllo (fillo) from the package, place it in the fridge 12-14 hours before using.

Place phyllo dough sheets between two clean and slightly damp kitchen towels
Place phyllo sheets in between two clean and slightly damp paper towels. This will keep them from tearing too much as you are working to assemble spanakopita.

-Before you begin assembling the spanakopita casserole, unroll the thawed phyllo (fillo) sheets and place them carefully between two ever-so-slightly damp kitchen cloths. This helps the sheets remain lenient so they won't tear too much.

Phyllo sheets being brushed with olive oil
Brush each layer of phyllo with extra virgin olive oil. This photo is about ½ way through the phyllo package.

-Do not skimp on the oil, but don't overdo it either. Some use butter, but I use quality extra virgin olive oil here instead to keep it light. You need to brush each of the phyllo layers with a little olive oil (see the video as well)

Spanakopita filling is placed

-Remember, Phyllo (fillo) sheets will tear, and that's perfectly fine. Just make sure you save a couple good sheets for the top of your spanakopita casserole.

Uncooked spanakopita fully assembled in casserole dish
Once spanakopita filling is spread well in the center, lay the remainder of the phyllo dough sheets on top (you will follow the same process, working one sheet at a time and brushing each layer with extra virgin olive oil.)

Can I make Spanakopita Ahead of Time? What about Leftovers?

-  You can make spanakopita the evening before you need to serve it. Follow the instructions for assembling, but do not bake. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready, go ahead and bake according to recipe instructions. Budget 1 hour for baking.

- Already cooked spanakopita will keep well if properly storied in the fridge for 2 to 3 evenings. Heat in medium-heated oven until warmed through. You can also portion cooked leftover spanakopita and freeze for a later time. Warm in oven; no need to thaw in advance.

One square piece of spanakopita Greek spinach pie served on blue plate

Watch the video for How to Make Spanakopita:

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Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie)


Foolproof family recipe for Spanakopita! Delicious savory Greek pie made of perfectly crispy layers of phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese.



For the Spinach and Feta Filling

  • 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, stems trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 10.5 oz quality feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

For the Crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Before you begin mixing the filling, be sure the spinach is very well drained, and squeeze out any excess liquid by hand.
  3. To make the filling: In a mixing bowl, add the spinach and the remaining filling ingredients. Stir until all is well-combined.
  4. Unroll the phyllo (fillo) sheets and place them between two slightly damp kitchen cloths.
  5. Prepare a 9 ½" X 13" baking dish like this one. Brush the bottom and sides of the dish with olive oil.
  6. To assemble the spanakopita: Line the baking dish with two sheets of phyllo (fillo) letting them cover the sides of the dish. Brush with olive oil. Add two more sheets in the same manner, and brush them with olive oil. Repeat until two-thirds of the phyllo (fillo) is used up.
  7. Now, evenly spread the spinach and feta filling over the phyllo (fillo) crust. Top with two more sheets, and brush with olive oil.
  8. Continue to layer the phyllo (fillo) sheets, two-at-a-time, brushing with olive oil, until you have used up all the sheets. Brush the very top layer with olive oil, and sprinkle with just a few drops of water.
  9. Fold the flaps or excess from the sides, you can crumble them a little. Brush the folded sides well with olive oil. Cut Spanakopita ONLY PART-WAY through into squares, or leave the cutting to later.
  10. Bake in the 325 degrees F heated-oven for 1 hour, or until the phyllo (fillo) crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven. Finish cutting into squares and serve. Enjoy!


  • Tips for Working with Phyllo: As mentioned earlier in the post, remember that phyllo is paper thin and will break as you are working with it. For best results, place phyllo dough sheets in between two very slightly damp kitchen towels (step #4) before you start working with it (unless you think you will work fast enough that the phyllo will not dry out.) Also, be sure to brush each layer with oil; don't skimp.
  • Make Ahead Tips: You can make spanakopita the evening before. Follow up to step #9, cover and refrigerate. When you are ready, go ahead and bake according to step #10.
  • Leftover Storing and Freezing Tips: Already cooked spanakopita will keep well if properly storied in the fridge for 2 to 3 evenings. Heat in medium-heated oven until warmed through. You can also portion cooked leftover spanakopita and freeze for a later time. Warm in oven; no need to thaw in advance.
  • What to Serve with Spanakopita? Spanakopita makes a great side dish for large holiday dinners next to lamb or lemon chicken. But it can easily stand alone as the main dish. Serve it with a big salad like Greek salad; Balela; or this Mediterranean chickpea salad, and favorite dips like Greek Tzatziki or Roasted Garlic Hummus.
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives).
  • SAVE try our Greek olive oil bundle and our popular Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle 
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Entree or Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: Spanakopita, How to Make Spanakopita, Greek Spinach Pie

*This recipe and tutorial was originally published 11/08/2016. Last updated with new information and photos on 4/15/2019.


Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie) | The Mediterranean Dish. The best tutorial for how to make spanakopita. Greek spinach pie with crispy, golden phyllo and a soft filling of spinach, feta cheese, and herbs. A holiday recipe for make it for dinner! So easy. See it at TheMediterraneanDish.com

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Many years ago, my uncles parents came over from Greece to visit for a while. For Christmas, she made a spanakopita that that was absolutely delicious. She also made one that looked just like the one made with spinach, except it was made with butternut squash. I have been searching the internet for a spanakopita recipe made the butternut squash and not spinach, but I have not been able to find anything. I was wondering if you might have a recipe for one that is made with the squash. In the mean time, I am looking forward to trying your recipe this Christmas for my family. I'm sure it will taste as good as it looks.

    1. Hello! We don't have a version with butternut squash... YET! Thanks for the idea, though! We definitely need to explore that one :).

    1. Hi, Deborah. To reheat frozen spanakopita, you can place in the oven at a low temperature until heated through. No need to thaw first. I'm not sure if your spanakopita was baked before you froze it or not, but just for the future, this works best with unbaked spanakopita. It should be okay even if you pre-baked it, but sometimes the result of reheating this way can dry it out a bit.

  2. You should update the total time adding in the 12-14h to thaw phyllo dough properly -- I think this would be helpful. Excited to give this a go this evening -- got my dough in the fridge!

  3. I made this exactly as directed. It turned out good, but I felt something was missing. Not sure what.

      1. This recipe calls for two garlic cloves. I added 3 as we are garlic lover. So that wasn’t it.

  4. video was not helpful at all for several reasons
    1 you did not give any verbal instructions
    2. way too fast
    3. the ads kept getting in the way.
    I get your recipes and have tried several with great results.

  5. Great recipes. I lived in Greece for a while and this recipe is the closest to original Greek Spanakopita. An 80 year old Geek native women made this for me and it was fantastic.

  6. Delicious! It's a bit bland, and upon reflection I see that the recipe does not call for salt, so I would add some when making this again. Which I definitely will, because otherwise it is flaky and perfect.

    1. Hi, Nicole- So glad you like it, and yes, please adjust the salt to suit your preference. Feta can be salty and there is so much variations between brands that salt in this recipe is a tricky call.

  7. Are the 12 pieces large enough for the main entree for a dinner meal? I'm doing a marinated cucumber salad and lemon roasted potatoes as the sides.

    1. Hi, Rowan! I think with the sides that should be fine. If you have big eaters in your family you might want to make an extra side.

  8. My daughter had a World Festival at school last Friday and her 10th grade class represented Greece. So I searched TMD for Greek food and found so many options that I offered to do the cooking. I made the Greek Honey Cake, Melomakarona, Greek Salad Skewers, Tiropitakia and Spanakopita. I was a bit anxious as I'd never tried any of these recipes before, but confident at the same time, knowing everything I try from Suzy always turns out delicious. I followed the recipes exactly as stated and I'm happy to report that the kids and the judges loved absolutely everything! And so did my family. Spanakopita was the overall winner and my kids have now requested that I include it frequently in their lunchbox rotation. I'm so glad I can always count on TMD for the best and easiest Mediterranean recipes. Thank you Suzy!

  9. I make this for my family all the time and they can’t get enough! I cook my onion and garlic and let cool before adding them to my spinach mixture. I also add a bar of cream cheese softened too. Before I spread the mixture on 1/2 the phyllo I sprinkle corn meal to help it stay together when serving. Delish!

  10. Yum yum yum. First time working with phyllo dough and was pretty easy. Very simple instructions. Turned out amazing.

  11. Made the recipe per the instructions and it came out absolutely fabulous! Served with your strawberry spinach salad! Scrumptious!

  12. I used 2 eggs to bind the cheese spinach mixture. I used Greek feta and a type of Albanian cheese which is a soft but dry combination of sheep and cow cheese...closely related to Italian ricotta but less smooth and silky. I also mixed in copious ground black pepper, allspice, dried dill and a pinch of finely minced Albanian dried hot pepper. Still following the recipe that you wrote - I have made this Greek casserole in the past with good results and tips that you suggest above. What follow is a divergent/ variant. I slightly scrambled 3 large eggs with 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt and an additional heaping table spoon of the Albanian "ricotta". This yielded a cup (8oz) of a thick egg/cheese/milk mix. After 2 layers of phyllo/spinach, my next layer was mostly the "scrambled egg mixture" to form a layer. My intention was to create a thin omlette/crepe- like 3rd layer. Continuing to the last layer I used local walnuts toasted in butter. Then continued with the steps in your original recipe. The results were outstanding. I think the omlette layer got around what other cooks (not on your page) sometime complain of. Anyway- your original recipe, photos, and step by step directions are an excellent guide to anyone intimidated by the belief that this might be too complicated to try at home. Using fresh spinach , although "authentic" adds almost 40 minutes to prep time with the washing,de-stemming,cooking ,cooling and draining. I too would recommend frozen spinach as a perfect substitute!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of your insights here! We love hearing how reader's experiment with our recipes!

  13. Hi Suzy. I know this is going to seem like a stupid question, BUT is there any substitute you can think of for the spinach? My mom absolutely loves spanakopita but can no longer have spinach. When I saw your recipe in my email, I thought if anyone can come up with an alternative, it would be you! Thank you in advance for any suggestions. 🙂

    1. I haven’t tried it but I have a ton of sweet potato greens (I grow sweet potatoes lol) and I am going to try them. Hopefully it will be a good substitute but I’d personally think any green would work? Maybe Swiss chard? Sorry if I’m stepping in unasked but I was gonna ask if she thought sweet potato greens would be good! I don’t see why not!

      1. This sounds very interesting, Amanda. Would love to hear how it turns out if you give the other greens a try!

      2. That’s a good idea! Thank you, Amanda, for answering. Knowing how much my mom loves spanakopita, I’m glad someone answered! 🙂

    1. Hi, Sarah. We've never attempted an egg-free version of this recipe, so it's a little hard for me to advise. If you try this without the eggs, please stop back and let us know how it went. I feel like it would still be delicious, it just wouldn't be bound together as well.

  14. Made this recipe tonight, it's fabulous! Thank you for sharing it with us all. I made it with fresh spinach from the garden that I sautéed until I had just over 16 Oz. Then squeezed it dry as I would have done with frozen spinach. Added about 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and about 2 tablespoons of fresh mint finely chopped. So good!

    1. Hello! A few other readers have had success using puff pastry with this recipe, so you could certainly give it a try.